While “The Trial” may seem like an obvious title for a trial lawyer’s blog, in this case, there is a little more to the story.
I was rummaging through old boxes in my basement and came across a paper I wrote in college. The shiny but yellowing bond paper with ink from the faded ribbon of an electric typewriter brought back memories of the late night sessions of a distant time. Just physically producing a presentable paper to hand to the professor during the class was no small feat. E-mailing an electronic document seconds before a midnight deadline was not an option in those days.
The paper I found was from a class called Modern Novel. It was by far the most challenging class I ever took, law school classes included. We were assigned a novel a week to read throughout the semester. If you have ever tried to read even a single novel in a week’s time while carrying a full college course load and working on the side, you can appreciate how difficult the schedule was. We also were required to write papers every two or three weeks, disecting and comparing the themes of the novels we were reading.
This paper compared and contrasted A Passage to India, by E. M. Forster, To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf and The Trial by Franz Kafka. It was fascinating to read the observations of my much younger self. But, on to the point of how I came up with the title. On back of the paper, I found the faded pencil markings of my professor’s comments, which read “The first two sections are fine, but your discussion of The Trial was inadequate.”
I resolved upon reading this criticism that my blog would be an ongoing effort to make up for this shortcoming of of my youth. I don’t mean this blog will be about Kafka or his unfinished novel, The Trial — although the themes of that great work certainly merit an occasional mention. Rather, I mean to commit myself to adequately deal with the topic of trials insofar as I have experienced them.
The trials I mean to blog about are of two different sorts. Most obviously, one is the formal trial that takes place in a courtroom before a judge and jury. The second kind is far older, but is related to the first. It the sense in which “trial” is used as a synonym for “tribulation,” the challenges and struggles that are part of every human life. These human trials are the “stuff” of formal trials.
If you are interested in either kind of trial, I hope you will find something of value in this blog.